Venice, Florida – One of our favorite annual activities is birding at the Venice Rookery. Just before sunset, hundreds of birds come home to roost on this tiny island, managed by the Venice Audubon Society. This outing offers prime bird watching from the comfort of my lawn chair (complete with a glass of wine).
As in past years, it was a thrill to watch the squawking, squabbling, fluttering and flapping that consume the island as the birds arrive. We saw tons of herons (great blue, green, black-crowned night), great egrets, ibises (white, glossy) and anhingas. The great egrets all had a spectacular bright green eye lore and long feathery plumes, which come out when they are courting.
During nesting season (December to May) you can also see baby birds in the nest. We got a great look at two fuzzy baby great blue herons and a juvenile anhinga. So cute.
The twins are mildly interested in the birds, more so in the nestlings. But we also had a picnic dinner and a stash of comic books, which kept them busy.
Once the sun sets, the bats descend from their bat houses, putting on a brief but dramatic show that caps off the evening.